How do you choose the right fractional CFO? Hiring a financial guide for your business journey may feel daunting or overwhelming, especially as the fractional CFO market becomes more saturated with options. Here’s a roadmap to choosing the right partner for your small business.
What Should I Look for in a Fractional CFO?
Search beyond the numbers. The right CFO marries financial expertise with emotional intelligence, resonating with your company’s ethos. A balance of professionalism, collaboration, and CFO experience will guide your business with wisdom and understanding, making the journey as significant as the destination.
Find the right fractional CFO by following these 5 tips:
- Be honest with yourself about your wants and needs.
- Know your budget, but don’t pick the cheapest option.
- Hire an agency, not a freelancer.
- Listen to your gut.
- Hire a good communicator.
Be Honest With Yourself About Your Wants and Needs
Your first step is self-assessment. What are the financial strengths and weaknesses of your business? Enterprises with revenues between $3-30M often find the most value in a fractional CFO. Consider the depth of your relationship expectations: do you seek merely transactional accounting or a more collaborative dynamic like forecasting and strategizing? Is CFO experience necessary, or can you get by with more basic expertise? Talk to advisors and other entrepreneurs if you are not certain what your business needs.
Know Your Budget, But Don’t Pick the Cheapest Option
Financial prudence is essential, but remember: value transcends mere dollar signs. With fractional CFO services ranging from $2k-$20k per month, it’s crucial to assess what you’re truly getting for your investment. Cheaper isn’t always better; sometimes it leads to missed opportunities and subpar advice. Always seek flexibility in contractual terms – the best fractional CFO firms offer month-to-month engagements.
Hire an Agency, Not a Freelancer
While the allure of freelancers with their perceived flexibility is understandable, agencies typically bring a broader pool of resources and deeper industry knowledge. A fractional CFO firm provides the collective strength of a dedicated team, ensuring consistent best practices. The freelance market can be a gamble; freelancers with top-tier CFO performance often transition to full-time roles, which may affect service consistency. Moreover, agencies ensure a diverse skill set, combining varied expertise for a well-rounded service.
Listen to Your Gut
Intuition is a valuable business ally. When considering a fractional CFO, assess the nature of your initial interactions. A strong, positive first impression often mirrors the future relationship’s trajectory. Trust in your instincts; if the connection feels harmonious, it’s a sign of a promising partnership ahead.
Good CFOs are Good Communicators
In a digital age, communication efficiency is key. Assess potential CFOs based on their communication tools, project management methods, and how they maintain transparency with stakeholders. Proven systems and processes are indispensable, especially given the remote operations of many fractional CFOs.